6 tricep exercises with dumbbells

6 tricep exercises with dumbbells

If it’s arm day and you’re ready to give your triceps some attention, you might naturally just gravitate towards the machine. But these tools aren’t the only ally for toning the upper arm muscles—dumbbell workouts can be just as effective as tricep workouts, with some choice benefits of their own.

The advantage of free weight tricep training lies in its versatility: not only does your range of motion increase, but dumbbells are also required. our To take the lead rather than relying on a machine to do the work for us.

Ready to strengthen muscle groups and build strong triceps? Whether you’re hitting the gym or working out at home, this guide will highlight 6 superior tricep exercises to try with dumbbells. Plus, we’ll give some expert tips on picking the perfect weight and rep count for your next upper-body sweat session.

Why Exercise Your Triceps With Dumbbells?

Located at the back of the upper arms, our triceps are responsible for bringing the arms toward the body, stabilizing the shoulders, and extending the elbow joints.1 There are a few key reasons why you might choose to build their strength using dumbbells:

  • Simulates real life lifting – Lifting a dumbbell over your head is like picking up a heavy item from a high shelf, or lifting a 25-pound suitcase into the overhead compartment of an airplane. As speed becomes more familiar, you will be able to use your improved strength in everyday life.
  • Improved balance and coordination – Dumbbells help improve your balance and coordination because you have more control with each movement. Cable machines, on the other hand, do most of this for you, as they don’t always encourage you to activate your stabilizing muscles.
  • diversity – Because the dumbbell is a free weight, it offers a plethora of exercises and variety that a fixed machine can’t compete with.

Finally, dumbbells make amazing tools for strength training at home or in the office for those days when you can’t get to the gym. Plus, we don’t think your boss will be too happy with a cable machine under your desk!

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6 Dumbbell Tricep Workout

Before diving into these tricep exercises, it’s crucial to make sure you’re working with the right weight of dumbbells. Too-heavy dumbbells can throw off your form and make you more susceptible to injury; A very light set is a recipe for inefficient workouts and slow to yield results.

Perfect weight should make those last few reps feel challenging, but not impossible. If you think you can reach the desired rep count for each set While maintaining proper formYou have chosen the right weight. If you think you can easily exceed your chosen number of reps, choose a heavier one.

Remember: The goal is to tire your triceps, which will encourage them to adapt and strengthen with each workout. Once you’ve found that “Goldilocks” sweet spot, it’s time to get lifting.

So when it’s upper arm day, consider doing this dumbbell tricep exercise with the classic reverse fly and Pullover exercise.

#1 Folding Triceps Kickback

This dumbbell exercise is a lively jumping-off point for any tricep routine. Tricep kickbacks are an easy, slow, and excellent way to warm up your elbows—and any exercise that trains the muscles individually can help correct muscle imbalances.2

Here’s how to start this tricep exercise:

  1. Bend your upper body forward, making a 90-degree angle at your waist. Keep a slight bend in the knees and imagine weaving your ribs towards your navel.
  2. Take a dumbbell in one hand and place your other hand on the small of your back.
  3. Bring the dumbbell toward your upper body, stopping when your elbows are parallel to your sides. Keep your arms close to your body for each rep. Repeat until your arms feel tired, then switch to the other side.

variation: You can do this triceps exercise with weights in both hands, working both arms simultaneously.

#2 Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

For this exercise, you’ll lie on a bench, which will target your triceps as well as your shoulders and chest. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie supine (face up) on a flat bench with two dumbbells and feet on the floor
  2. Hold your dumbbells above you with your arms close to your body.
  3. Lower the dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel to your torso. Then, lift your arms up until they are perpendicular to the floor. Repeat.

#3 Dumbbell Skullcrusher

Don’t be alarmed by the name—done safely, this tricep exercise won’t make any contact with your head! Lie on your flat bench, grab one of your dumbbells, and begin:

  1. Lie down on the bench and plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  2. Grab a dumbbell by the weight with both your hands and hold it above you. Your arms should be at right angles to the ceiling.
  3. Bend at the elbows and keep your wrists firm, pointing the weight toward your forehead. arms extended; Repetition

Note: For single arm tricep exercises, it is best to use light weights. You can go a grade heavier for exercises where you’re using both arms at the same time.

#4 Dumbbell triceps extension

You can sit or stand for this dumbbell exercise. It targets all three heads of your triceps (lateral head, medial head, and long head) simultaneously.

Whether you’re doing standing or seated tricep extensions, grab a dumbbell and start this tricep workout:

  1. Grasp your dumbbell with the weighted end with both hands. Hold the back of your head.
  2. Lower the dumbbell as far as feels natural, then raise it just before you fully extend your arms. Repeat.

variation: You can perform this dumbbell tricep extension exercise with one arm at a time using a light weight. Use the same motion and rest your non-lifting arm on the elbow of the lifting arm. It can help improve alignment and proprioception.

#5 Triceps Gravity Press

Don’t be surprised if you “feel the burn” with this exercise—you need to constantly work your triceps to keep the dumbbell from falling.

Find a flat bench and two dumbbells and begin:

  1. lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand; The forearms should be parallel to the floor. The bottom of each weight should be on the side of your cheek.
  2. Extend your arms in front of your head, maintaining the same height as the starting position. Bend at the elbows and repeat.

#6 Dumbbell Z-Press

Has anyone else stolen the bench? No sweat (well, maybe some). This triceps exercise requires no bench and is easy to learn if you’re just building your skills with dumbbells.

Grab one or two dumbbells depending on your preference and start:

  1. Sit on the ground with your feet in front of you, making an “L” shape on the floor. Pull your belly button toward your spine and bend your knees if your hamstrings are tight.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand or take one at a time.
  3. Start with your arms fully folded and the dumbbells just above your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked in toward the midline.
  4. Raise the dumbbell above your head until your arms are fully extended and slowly lower it down. Go easy on your triceps – controlling the descent of the dumbbell is key to this exercise.
  5. Repeat.

How to choose the right number of delegates

The good news is that there are plenty of dumbbell tricep exercises to add to your workout routine, but it all comes down to reps and sets. Generally speaking, there are three main things you might want to focus on building in the gym: Endurance, strengthAnd Hypertrophy. All of these can be the purpose of your strength training workout, which when combined with aerobic exercise creates a well-balanced routine.

The strength training objective you set for yourself on any given gym day will help you determine the ideal weight for your dumbbell triceps exercises — light, medium heavy or heavy.

Additionally, each fitness goal will affect how many repetitions and sets you use to organize your tricep workout sessions. Let’s take a look at each to find your ideal routine:

  • Endurance – When you want to increase Amount Your muscles can work, you are training Endurance. Aim for a lighter weight, with more reps per set, eg 10 to 14 times per setAnd 2 to 3 sets.
  • strength – Strength training means increasing the amount of weight you can lift by gradually working on a dumbbell rack from week to week or month to month. Set goals 6 to 10 repetitions per setwith 3 to 6 sets.
  • Hypertrophy – Hypertrophy refers to the process of muscle tissue breaking down and then rebuilding. Resistance exercise is one of the most powerful ways to activate this biological process – and it’s required the least reps and sets3 Set goals 4 to 6 repetitions per setand a 2 sets max.

Work out smarter with Choose Fitness

With proper form and a little insight, experimenting with exercises for your triceps will have you feeling like a dumbbell master in no time. But learning your way around each new piece of equipment should never feel boring—we want to keep every sweat session fresh and engaging.

Choose Fitness Discover new ways to work out and make a routine feel inspiring, welcoming fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Vary your workout with group classes on demand Ichuz virtual workouts, and an inclusive fitness community that cheers you on with every milestone you pass.

Choose Fitness experts are here to help you every step of the way. Learn about our membership and stop at a location by searching for “gym near me” online to see what your future holds in fitness.

Reviewed by:

Ani is Vice President of Fitness at Chuz Fitness and oversees the Group Fitness and Team Training departments. He had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Annie lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and son and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.


  1. NCBI. Anatomy, shoulder and upper limb, triceps muscle. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536996/
  2. Ace fitness. One-sided training facility. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/7035/the-benefits-of-unilateral-training/
  3. UNM How to grow muscle? https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/musclesgrowLK.html

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